I walked to work this morning, carried on my day as usual, much as every other day.
The day stretched long and bleak before me. To say I felt sick, bewildered, shocked and numb in combination was an understatement. How was I supposed to get through this day? Forget a day, weeks, months, years stood before me! All alone, unescorted, unaccompanied. I pictured that solitary figure I’d seen only last week, a single, lonely figure walking down the street hunched in sadness and sorrow aged and so alone. Could that be me?
Pretend, that’s what I’d do. The sun shone brightly overhead, I did not see it or feel it’s warmth. I straightened my back and held my head high. No one would ever know by glancing my way, I was filled with sorrow.
The breeze whisked my hair from my face, I did not feel it’s gentle caress. Pretend, that’s what I would do. Stroking my hair i continue on down the street unaware of it’s effort to awaken me.
A bustling street filled with people I did not know sauntered, hurried, jostled around me and I did not notice nor care. Pretend! I scolded myself. I placed a fake smile upon my face and walked a little faster, attempting to add purpose to my step so no one would notice how lost I was.
I wondered if I had managed to make the pretense complete. Would anyone notice the glazed sorrowful eyes or the pain emanating from within or how bereft I felt? Was I convincing in my deception? Could I be that effective an actress and pretend to wear this mantra so well no questions were asked, no pity given? Had my disguise worked? Would I ever fit in with these happy delighted joyful people or was I destined to remain on the outside looking in forever?
I woke from the dream, startled and stared around me if only to confirm that what I’d witnessed was only that, a dream. I reached across the bed and touched my partner. Yes he was real, this was real, the other was but a dream. Only a dream; I congratulated myself and fell back asleep. Only to fall through the now floating sugary wisps surrounding me, back into the unknown. Pretend was the last word I heard.